The Visiting Therapist Program (VTP) began providing mental health services in 2004 to dependent children who have had difficulty utilizing traditional office-based or clinic-based services. In 2005, the VTP was expanded to a new participant base, youth in the juvenile probation system and their families. The program was designed to reach participants in their place of residence, and to maintain continuity of services and provide a stable, therapeutic relationship, despite any placement disruptions.
Clinicians provide services throughout Alameda County and may sometimes travel as far as 90 miles from the Fred Finch Coolidge Campus in Oakland in order to treat their participants. The majority of participants are served in the Bay Area, the most common locations being the East and South Bay.
The program offers weekly individual and family therapy. The VTP staff provides case management and crisis intervention as necessary. Additionally, Parent Partner services are also available to provide support to caregivers in their home or community. The Parent Partner is a parent who has personal experience utilizing and navigating local agencies and community resources, and who has been trained to utilize such experience in supporting families accessing these resources.
Visiting Therapist Program staff members use a variety of evidenced based and evidence informed therapeutic approaches with a commitment to providing trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed services take into account knowledge about how the experience of trauma can impact the health and well-being of a person and a community.
Using the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment, 95% of participants improved in at least one domain, including strengths, behavioral and emotional needs, Life Functioning,
Risk Behaviors and Cultural Factors
The Visiting Therapist Program participant population is comprised of Alameda County youth and families involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The great majority of participants served have been victims, or witnesses of, abuse and neglect. Referrals come from Child Welfare Workers, probation officers, parents, and the youths themselves. Most participants are between 12 and 17 years of age, although the program serves participants up to age 21.